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Customer only seeing a single iqn on both iSCSI hba's on NC553

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Customer only seeing a single iqn on both iSCSI hba's on NC553

There was a good discussion on how well the iSCSI hardware initiator is on the NC553 LOM on the G7 blades. Here is how it all started:




From Alan:

I have a customer who is trying to link an 460g7 with EMC storage.

They are looking at building in redundancy by having 2 isci connections from the onboard NC553 . The issue is …. they are only seeing a single iqn for both.

Can someone confirm if this is an expected result or do we support 1 iqn per iscsi connection ?


From Chris R.:

Single IQN is normal, one name for the server. Beware on ESX the iSCSI HBA does not preform well.


From Wonseok.:

Can I ask your meaning “does not perform well’?

Several Customers in my site setup NC553i with Virtual Connect Flex-10 for Hardware iSCSI HBA initiator in vSphere 4 and 5.

Do you have any performance issue?


From Chris R.:

We learned this on the P4000 side, due to drivers or firmware or something the Emulex iSCSI HBA does not perform well under load, the software initiator works better. In server 2008 it is ok to use the iSCSI HBA. I don’t know if this has changed with ESX 5. The initiator setup under ESX 5 will bind iSCSI to the vMkernals without using command line.


From Chris L.:

Sorry, but what do you mean by “the initiator setup under ESX 5 will bind iSCSI to the Vmkernel without using command line”?  The H/W initiators will show up as HBA’s in the hypervisor, and not an Ethernet NIC.  They will act just like any other storage controller.  Do know that there is a newer iSCSI driver (be2iscsi, and the IMA component, 4.0.317.1) that should be used.


Also, you should see two iSCSI HBA’s, each with their own iSCSI Initiator Name.  You won’t see “one per host” like you could with the software initiator.


From Chris R.:

Sorry I meant the software initiator; ESX 5 has a menu entry. On 4 you had to run a couple of commands to get the same results.

Spock does not show any iSCSI CNA HBAs for the P4000 on ESX 5, (it does show them for Server 2008) and it does list the Qlogic 1 gig HBA adapter. I asked this question, last year and the only answer I received was the performance was not good. I have heard of several escalations where iSCSI HBAs were configured on VCs with Gen 7 blades and ESX. They had to switch to the software initiator.

I worked on a site where someone from Vmware was doing the ESX 5 config; he used the software initiator too.


I would like to hear that the Gen 7 iSCSI HBAs work with ESX 5 and gives good performance. You would think an iSCSI HBA would work better than a software initiator.






From John:

I checked support for BL460 G7 CNA HW iSCSI on ESXi 5.0 with P4800 storage. I was worried because I couldn’t find anything on spock to say it was supported. Leo Ahmed pointed me to the VMware HCL. I checked, and it was listed there.


I’m not sure about performance with HW vs. SW iSCSI, but there was a nice SAP SD benchmark done with ESXi 5, BL460 G7 blades and P4800 storage that used HW iSCSI.




So the discussion goes on. Have any experience with the iSCSI HW initiator on the NC553m? Please let us know.




Re: Customer only seeing a single iqn on both iSCSI hba's on NC553

I spoke briefly over email with our HP technical sales rep and was told that the iscsi CNA HBA's are not supported on the p4300 / p4500. I checked out the p4000 compatibility matrix and it only shows the qlogic HBA's are supported with Esxi 5. I am running into an issue with using the software iscsi initiator in vsphere 5 where i have high latency (50-100ms) when its not under load. Under load running iometer latency is 4-8ms. I checked esxtop on the host to see if maybe it was just a bug in vcenter but i was also seeing the latency their.


I am configuring a new infrastructure right now that consists of a C7000 8 - BL460c G7's 2 - Flex-10's and the 28.8TB multisite P4500 G2 and the 60TB P4500 G2.